Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bruce Foster "Platinum Heroes" b/w "(I Remember) The Revolution" - USA 1976

Don't those song titles scream glam?  This just has to be some T. Rex-style, jams-kicked-out rock, huh?

Unfortuately it isn't.  What you have on the A-side is a 5+ minute homage to The Beatles, running down their career from '64 into their '70s solo stuff.  The song borrows liberally from Beatles tunes throughout and is interesting mainly for that reason.  Somehow in 1976 people were already nostalgic for less than a decade earlier.  Some Beatles tunes actually charted a second time in various countries in the early '70s upon rerelease.

This A-side ends up sounding like a more restrained David Bowie or even Kim Fowley track, minus the melodrama or the palpable insanity respectively.  This is totally something Fowley would do, only his take would be somehow menacing.  The B-side is a ballad to the good ol' hippie activist days and the post-hippie "doin' my own thing" cultural miasma.  Not bad pop overall and an interesting artifact of people knowing even this early that a major wave had crested, and the blahs had set in.

The lyric to the A-side is on Foster's personal website, which gives a bio and plenty of other info and photos.  Foster is apparently descended from arch American songwriter Stephen Foster.  He was a session musician in the UK and in the US, and played keyboard for Status Quo, Gladys Knight and KISS.  Later he teamed up with a very young Richie Sambora and wrote material for/with him.  The album the single is drawn from is reviewed in a 1977 Billboard magazine you can read here.

I don't have my Billboard charts book handy but the claim is that the A-side did chart and received a lot of radio play, and still is played on radio, but I have no recollection of having heard this before.  Perhaps this was a bigger song in Europe than in the US.  It's also very possible that the single charted on the lower end of the Top 40, which for an artist who isn't a household name can absolutely bury you with the oldies and classic rock programmers.  My pressing is Italian and is another single from the stack bought in Rome, 4 per 10 euro.  I had assumed Foster was British.

The lyric states "I was there at Shea for their last show."  The Beatles' last live show was actually in San Francisco, unless you count the "rooftop concert."  Extra points for mentioning the "Paul is dead" craze and LSD use:

"We dug for clues back in 1970
They crossed the road but we just couldn't let them be
We saw the hangman, priest, and the prisoner
followed close by the gravedigger
Dropping tabs and playing back hidden incantations
Revelation's # 9
and counting black carnations"

Nice.  Grab it here.


  1. It peaked at #63 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in 1977. Just so you know. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for the comment. They rarely even play songs that charted at #30 on the oldies and classic rock stations around here, so at #63 little wonder I'd not heard it.